Macomb High School Athletic Director Dave Bartlett updated the school board on Monday night that the high school’s current athletic conference, the West Central Conference, only has three teams left that compete in football (Macomb, Quincy Notre Dame and West Hancock).
This makes scheduling games very hard for football especially with the lack of schools in the west central Illinois area. To be recognized by the Illinois High School Association, the conference has to have at least six teams.
Next year’s football schedule is set but the 2018 Bomber football schedule is not complete with week eight currently open. Only three teams in the state of Illinois are “independent” and not affiliated in a conference.
Playing team’s out of state and at halfway points were discussed at the meeting but ultimately too many teams don’t want to surrender home field advantage.
Macomb was recently rejected as a “full” (all sports) and “football only” member by the Prairieland Conference, consisting of schools in the area around 50 miles or so round trip and also by the nearby Three Rivers Conference.
The Apollo Conference located across the state mainly in East Central Illinois is interested in adding MHS for football. The only problem being that some schools in that conference would be around 350 miles roundtrip which hurts the budget and is hard on the athletes traveling. Macomb plays four Apollo schools the next two years and would also be the smallest school in the Apollo by almost 200 students. But if they joined the Prairieland or Three Rivers, the Bombers would be the largest school.
Bartlett says it’s back to the drawing board for now as Macomb High will most likely wait a couple of years before joining another conference or creating its own for football.